Visa problems for Candidate Tournament participants!

by clement

In less than a month, on April 03, the Candidates’ and Candidates’ Tournaments kick off in Toronto. For the first time, the men’s and women’s tournaments will be held simultaneously. But as the days tick away to the big day, many players and their travelling companions are still waiting for their visas to be approved.

According to Hindustan Timesthe players concerned, including Indian candidates R Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi and Gukesh D in the open tournament and Koneru Humpy and R Vaishali in the women’s tournament, submitted the necessary data and information to the Canadian authorities several months ago. To date, the Canadian authorities have not reacted. The clock is ticking.

Meanwhile, the Indian Chess Federation and the players have been trying to get Canadian MPs and ministers to speed up the visa process. So far, to no avail.

FIDE made the matter public in a press release broadcast on various social media channels and appealed to the Canadian authorities. Visas must be issued by the end of the week at the latest, failing which the World Chess Federation will find an alternative venue. as soon as possible. Tournament dates will remain unchanged. However, the relocation of the Candidates’ tournaments would entail high costs and financial losses for FIDE, and not only for organizational reasons. According to FIDE, 1,000 tickets have already been sold for the Toronto tournaments. A trip would also be costly for the participating players and their travelling companions, as most of them will already have booked their flights and accommodation.

If the candidate tournaments are not held in Canada due to visa problems, Spain is being considered as a replacement country.

The Canadian Daily Toronto Star quotes Vladimir Drkulec, President of the Canadian Chess Federation, who announced that of the 40 people who had applied for visas, only two had actually received them, adding that this put the tournament in jeopardy: “If we don’t have significant progress in a week, the tournament is cancelled. We can’t have a Candidates’ Tournament without the candidates”.

Visa delays may have a political background. Ian Nepomniachtchi, Kateryna Lagno and Aleksandra Goryachkina are Russian citizens – as is the president of FIDE… Canada was one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters after the Russian attack. Canada is also in diplomatic conflict with India over the shooting death of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver. Canada suspects India of being behind the murder, which India denies.

FIDE appeal

Urgent appeal to the Canadian government regarding visas for the FIDE Candidates Tournament

The most prestigious tournament in the world of chess, the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament, which will determine the candidates for the title of World Champion in the Open and Women’s categories, is about to take place…


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